The Ghost Inside has never failed to deliver in the four times that I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them live. The group’s energy is tangible, and this particular show was one I won’t forget. Passion poured from the fingertips and throats of each member of The Ghost Inside, and frontman Jonathan Vigil’s famously infectious on-stage smile left me (and most others) grinning ear-to-ear long after the set was over.

Last month’s crowd at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey was explosive. Crowd surfers were more like crowd tidal waves, and singing along to the lyrics was more like a gigantic group therapy session in the best way.  Prior to performing “Thirty Three” from the band’s record Get What You Give, Vigil relayed a familial message about the unique nature of the patchwork community standing before him; he made sure to remind the people there of their importance to The Ghost Inside and the genre of hardcore music. His genuine gratitude and joy radiated through the audience and when “Thirty Three” finally began, the crowd bombed into action and the venue shook with thousands of voices shouting for their mutually greatest savior — music.

Many people who are unfamiliar with the branch of music that is hardcore are too quick to assume that it’s dark and unkind due to the screaming and heavy instrumentals. If there’s any band I can advise those people to give a chance to change their outlook on hardcore music, it’s The Ghost Inside. Dark, unkind people don’t smile the way that Jonathan Vigil does on stage.  The Ghost Inside is an inherently positive, passionate, talented band whose existence I and countless others are so grateful for.


Drummer Andrew Tkaczyk caught some of Vigil’s infectious smile.

IMG_5849 - Version 2Bassist Jim Riley belts out some backing vocals.


You can’t quite see him smile behind the mic…
IMG_5885 - Version 2There it is.

Photos by Carolyn Saxton